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Treasury yields hold steady as investors monitor the pace of economic recovery

Treasury yields were flat on Wednesday as investors monitor the coronavirus development and the progress of the economic recovery.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was little changed at 0.755% and the yield on the 30-year bond edged up to 1.550%.

A dire economic outlook from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) late on Tuesday offered a reality check to investors hoping for a rapid rebound for the global economy.

In a blog post, IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath cautioned that “the forthcoming June World Economic Outlook Update is expected to show negative growth rates even worse than previously estimated” and the current crisis is “unlike anything the world has seen before.”

Yields and stock markets also retreated from Tuesday’s highs after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified before Congress that the central bank would approach its new corporate bond buying plan based on market conditions, and would not “run through the bond market like an elephant.”

Powell also warned that the American economy would not truly recover until the public is convinced that the coronavirus pandemic is under control. His testimony continues at 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Risk sentiment had been boosted Tuesday by the Fed’s plan to buy individual corporate bonds, along with a Bloomberg report of a potential $1 trillion infrastructure program from the White House, the discovery of a new drug which drastically reduces coronavirus death rates in seriously ill patients and a record surge in U.S. retail sales.

U.S. housing starts and building permits figures for May are due at 8:30 a.m., but there are no major economic data releases on Wednesday.

Auctions will be held Wednesday for $35 billion of 105-day Treasury bills, $40 billion of 154-day bills and $17 billion of 20-year bonds.

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